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MINI2 No.1
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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering how much firmer the ride would be made by fitting Eibachs (or other similar piece of kit). Just the springs, not coild overs? Or is it worth replacing the dampers too, if so, what brand is good for a good price!

I need firmer, sportier suspension, and I'm on an extremely small budget!

Thanks for any advice.

:)
 

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Hmm....silly name now
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Yeah I had Eibach springs fitted for over a year with various different wheel sizes (16,17 +18")
They are really good value for money tighening up the handling very well eliminating what little roll there was :D
The ride will depend on what wheel + tyre setup you have really.... even with the 17" S-Lites and runflats I thought it was firm but still acceptable, if your running non-runflats I think you will hardly notice much difference in the ride.

IMO the Eibach's are probably a bit too stiff on the front as I'm now running coilovers and the ride is fantastic better still even though its lower, but with coilover's full suspension travel is still maintained absorbing more impact.

So really depends on how much you want to spend, certainly changing the shocks will have a benefit because they are designed to run at a lower ride height compared to a std shock + Eibach spring fitted which is limiting suspension travel thus not absorbing impact as much.

Hope all that made sense :D

Chris :red:
 

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MINI2 No.1
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Discussion Starter #3
Makes sense. I'm finding the (newer) Cooper S SS+ far too soft and springy, so that's why I'm looking at a change, but I don't really want to go much lower either (those who've been on the Darkness or MK runs will understand why!). I think Eibachs it is, at least it's not a very expensive mistake if I don't like them!
 

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I've got SS+ on my 03 cooper and have recently changed the springs for eibachs. I'm running my s-spokes with the standard Pirelli runflats (not for long).

The ride is much better than before which I think is down to the progressive front springs having more negative travel. It's much less jarring down rough roads than before but at the same time the body roll has been reduced. Traction through corners and pulling away is much improved.

The springs are a great value upgrade and I would recommend them.
 

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MINI2 No.1
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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds positive. I wonder if either of you (or anyone else) has also added their rear sway (anti-roll) bar? Is that better than the standard SS+?

Also, how easy or hard is this to do DIY, considering I can and have done quite a bit of work on a Mini (classic) including changing the complete suspension set up.

Thanks again!

:D
 

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I haven't touched the anti-roll bar.

It's a straightforward job on a ramp and with the tools needed (spring compressors and ball-joint splitter etc). The rears only took half an hour and the fronts should have been done in just over an hour. That was until one of the aluminium bolts holding the front strut to the turret decided to shear!

As it was the whole job took 2 1/2 hours, including replacing all six aluminium bolts on the front struts.
 

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i put eibachs on the "old" 2003 mcs suspension. they are about the same harshness as the stock suspension over small bumps and on a freeway, and, as you would guess, harsher over bigger bumps. they are fine for me as a daily driver. the handling difference is amazing for regular/spirited street driving. pushing really hard, i finally got that funky rate change effect in the middle of a corner, but that is very rare for me on the street.

i've had pirelli run flats, dunlop run flats, and regular tires on my car. the increased harshness from the eibachs is about the same as the difference between the very harsh pirellis and softer tires. i think a stock suspension with the pirellis is about the same as softer tires with the eibachs.

without a doubt, i would do the eibachs again.
 

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As a result of my West Tuning conversion I have the Eibach's with the stock shocks in my Oct. 2003 MCS. I also tried the demo car with the Koni's but found it too stiff for the Greek tarmac - or the absence of it.

In my opinion the car handles much better now, is especially fast on lane changing and is not upset under hard braking, even with my 328mm front discs. As for the ride, its fine on the few examples of good motorways we have over here but noticeably stiffer than the stock springs for the rest of our roads. With my soon to be replaced 17' run-flats you have to be alert when approaching every medium to high bump to the point were it gets tiring.

I am now addicted to the better handling provided by the eibachs so I cannot go back to the stock springs, but would rather hope that replacing the run flats will improve the ride. If that doesn't work I will look for replacement shocks to combine with or coilovers with softer setup.
 

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Interesting comments, I changed to eibachs a couple of months ago having ditched the run flats and S spokes for Oz wheels and non run flats.

My SS+ suspension I found was slightly wallowy on my '03 JCW S, especially at higher speeds through bends as opposed to corners - if you follow my meaning.. When I spoke to the JCW Guy who did my upgrade last week he told me this was a common occurence on the race cars, and was due to air under the car, and an aero bumper cut this down a lot... interesting snippet :p

From day one with the eibachs I found the ride not much harsher on normal roads until you hit a bump, and then you do notice them far more than with SS+. You certainly know that the spring rate is higher than standard, but this is offset by the cornering and manouvering abilities which are greatly changed/improved.

On the whole I think it has improved the handling of the car, my only feeling would be that if damper rates were changed, then the harshness would be taken out of those bumps you hit that make you go ouch! :D :p
 

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...where´s the any-key?
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My route is littered with those damn yellow speed bumps they're are the only thing putting me off. The SS+ is rubbish compared to that of old, why did they have to change it? :rolleyes:
 

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cristo
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I believe the change from the old SS+ to new (?june '03 or thereabouts) was
a change to softer struts, but the springs and roll bars remained the same.
Changing springs without changing shocks might not get you there.
 

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...where´s the any-key?
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cristo said:
I believe the change from the old SS+ to new (?june '03 or thereabouts) was
a change to softer struts, but the springs and roll bars remained the same.
Changing springs without changing shocks might not get you there.
I read they changed the damping fluid.
 

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Make things worse you cant get the old style anymore. On a recent trip I unforturnatly bent two rims and one Front strut. They were going to replace only the one strut when i asked about which one they were putting in. Because of the valving. The tech there didnt know anything about it. Then i had him look it up since the part numbers had changed in June 03. With that they changed both struts which were covered by Insurance. The front end is as paul stated .. Springier and it really is hurting the cars handleing since i still have the old style in the rear. Looking to upgrade a Coil over set up soon Because of this.

Just a little input
 

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Now this is getting more interesting, my car is an August '03 build so I guess I have the softer SS+ if I am reading this right......?!?! :confused:

A couple of questions -

Has anyone else felt the experience I have with regards to the car feeling very slightly floaty on fast corners? I have spoken to a Cooper owner with SS+ who claims he has.... Now my eibachs have solved this problem with this, and the JCW Fitter I spoke to reckons an aero bumper solves this problem on the JCC Challenge cars... However could this be an offshoot of the suspension change?

Are people effectively saying the SS+ I have in my August '03 build car is softer from stock than older cars to begin with.... I have noticed that my car sits very (err very!) low on eibach springs... altho eibach claim only one spring kit for an S, there does appear to be differing ride heights noticed for the cars, moreso than you would expect for spring settle.

Also not sure if this is related but I specifically bought a 45mm offset wheel to ensure no rubbing on my arches, but still have one arch that rubs occasionally.... or more accurately bottoms out :rolleye:.... Not sure if this can be put down to a spring issue.... This has made me consider full coilovers as an ultimate option....

Just a few more thoughts to ponder :D
 

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Progressive springs should only be considered if you plan to do all of your driving on the road. On the limit they have some bizarre characteristics. Progressive springs are simply to disguise mismatched damping.

I appreciate financial circumstances are on an issue, but what happened to saving? I would personally spend some time finding dampers to go with a spring which hasn't got a stupid poundage.

Though, if you do plan to stick to road driving and never get to limit then go for the Eibachs, though i find it a bit contradictory to want to go round corners faster but not too fast!

As for the business of the softer SS+ package equating to worse handling is bull, i often find myself in dispair when people classify grip as better handling. Softer suspension will give more progressive breakaway (especially in the wet), as well as a nicer ride. You will get more instability but lets try to remember the essence of the Mini, was it built to be fast, or fun?

-Rob
 

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AWOL
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Paul Mullett said:
Sounds positive. I wonder if either of you (or anyone else) has also added their rear sway (anti-roll) bar? Is that better than the standard SS+?

Also, how easy or hard is this to do DIY, considering I can and have done quite a bit of work on a Mini (classic) including changing the complete suspension set up.

Thanks again!

:D
Paul at least with the new mini there will be no time wasted trying to hacksaw seized up bolts and nuts off !!
 

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Interesting comments robfenn - didnt know that about progressive springs.

I have Eibach's on my car supplied and fitted by CoolNew. Of the cars I've owned with lowered suspension this is the best setup. It is on the whole harsher than SS+ but the improved handling is worth it.

Pros: less body roll and hence better steering feel and a 'sportier' ride

Cons: Harsher over big bumps/potholes/sunken manhole covers (why do we have so many of these?); more interior trim rattles; sometimes bumper catches on big speed humps as it is quite low.

So less pros than cons but to me the pro is a big one and hopefully once I lose the runflat tyres it will ride even better.

Oh, and I found the strut brace helped a lot with the wandering feeling and seems to prevent the car following the road as much.
 

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MINI2 No.1
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Discussion Starter #20
robfenn said:
Progressive springs should only be considered if you plan to do all of your driving on the road. On the limit they have some bizarre characteristics. Progressive springs are simply to disguise mismatched damping.

I appreciate financial circumstances are on an issue, but what happened to saving? I would personally spend some time finding dampers to go with a spring which hasn't got a stupid poundage.

Though, if you do plan to stick to road driving and never get to limit then go for the Eibachs, though i find it a bit contradictory to want to go round corners faster but not too fast!

As for the business of the softer SS+ package equating to worse handling is bull, i often find myself in dispair when people classify grip as better handling. Softer suspension will give more progressive breakaway (especially in the wet), as well as a nicer ride. You will get more instability but lets try to remember the essence of the Mini, was it built to be fast, or fun?

-Rob
What happened to saving? Giving up a well paid job in IT to spend time between running MINI2 and looking after a baby!

;)

It's the not handling I have an issue with, so much as the ride quality. It rolls side to side, forward and back, up and down much more, and this has caused a lot of scraping and bumping where my last S (with the old setup) never had an issue at all, so it's firmer I'm after.
 
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